Thursday 14 April 2016

Heinrich Böll Residency Achill Island March 2016

I have just returned from a two week residency in the Heinrich Böll cottage on Achill Island.  This cottage is available for use by writers, poets and artists from around the world.  The cottage was made available through Heinrich Böll’s family and is supported by Mayo County Council and administered by the Heinrich Böll Committee.  Information about Heinrich Böll, a Nobel Prize winning author, the annual weekend of writing and talks and details of how to apply for the residency are available at

Having only visited Achill Island once before, when I was child, it was wonderful to return.  I had the opportunity to take time to read and think.  The weather was fantastic and constantly changing so I took the opportunity to walk and explore the area.   As for painting, I did lots of that too…  With so little distraction, in my case no television to watch, I felt like I gained hours every evening and all the walking in the mornings really energised me.  Such a great experience and a huge thank you to all involved, in particular John McHugh and the committee.

The view from the study down towards the beach in Dugort

Tree roots remain on the beach at Dugort

Keel Beach with a rain shower approaching

A rubbing of a tile over the fireplace in the cottage

Instead of buying postcards I took the time to make some

Artist Conversation Series at the Hunt Museum

My artist conversation took place in the Hunt Museum on the 15th March 2016.  The idea is that people meet for coffee at 11 and the artist whose work is currently on show in the ‘Curator’s Choice’ chats to people about their work and their art practice.  

Unlike a setting where there is the protection of a PowerPoint presentation on a screen behind, this is certainly more intimate and in some ways more daunting – but I’m having more practice at these things and getting a bit more confident.  I brought along some books with images of my work and some sketch books for people to look through, and the great coffee helped. 

All the details of the upcoming talks and events are available on the Hunt Museum website.

Thanks to Ellen Byrne from the Hunt Museum for forwarding on the photos below.